13 March 2020 I Nepalese embassy in Canberra says it’s been inundated with calls from Australian travel agencies following the Government of Nepal’s stern, preventative measure to stop issuing “on-arrival visas” to all nationalities including Nepalese expatriates.
Deputy Chief of Mission at the Nepalese embassy, Durapada Sapkota, indicated today’s unusual number of calls about travel arrangements to Nepal may have been caused by media reports coming out of Kathmandu.
Th decision will come into effect at the midnight of March 14 and will remain in force for about a month and half until April 30.
However, the Embassy has cut a slack for the holders of non-residential Nepalese (NRN) card, Ms Sapkota added, by issuing them with a 30-day gratis visa.
The NRN Card is issued by Nepal missions across the world; it is not the membership card of the Non Residential Nepali Association (NRNA) as some expatriates seem to confuse.
“However, if someone is travelling on an urgent business, visas can be obtained from the Embassy in Canberra and the Consulates in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, and Auckland, New Zealand,” the embassy said today.
The Nepalese government’s seriousness in fighting COVID-19 became well and truly evident when the embassy indicated that even those who may already have visas to the Himalayan nation cannot have a free run of the country’s popular tourist destinations. Once yesterday’s decision becomes effective, the government will require visitors to present recently-issued Medical Certificates (Swab Test PCR) to the immigration authorities upon their arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, the country’s only international airport.
The country, which is heavily dependent on tourism, has also closed down all land border ports.
The embassy is urging all potential visitors to Nepal to use one and only entry point – that is, the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.
Even more importantly, the Nepalese government has urged all – foreign visitors, Nepalese citizens as well as Nepalese expatriates – who enter Nepal after midnight tomorrow to strictly remain in self-isolation and home quarantine for 14 days.
The Nepalese mission has strongly urged to consider postponing any planned travels to Nepal, where possible.